paint equipment

Painting Questions: Roll, Spray, or Brush? When To Use Each 

Every paint project requires a certain amount of equipment beyond the can of paint and primer. There’s the step stools, ladders, drop cloths, cleaning equipment, and, of course, the application tools. Selecting the right tool, whether it’s a roller, hand-held brush, or a sprayer for your painting project can determine the level of success you experience as well as the overall look of your room. 

Each application technique has its advantages and disadvantages. We are here to run through when and where a roller, brush, or spray technique may benefit you the most. 

white paint

Paint Brushes 

High-quality paint brushes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Smaller brushes, such as the one inch brush, are meant for tight spaces, like detailed trim boards, around windows, and edging. Slightly larger brushes, such as the 2 or 2.5 inch brush, are meant for larger areas such as edges, corners, or trim. 

In addition to sizing differences, brushes come in angled and flat shapes to allow for access to painting different types of areas such as tight corners or larger trims. Angled brushes come in very handy when trying to “cut in” without using tape or a guide.

Brushes are generally meant to be used in areas that are small and require the flexibility that a roller or sprayer doesn’t allow. Most painters use brushes for trim work, areas that need to be “cut in,” and for areas where speciality brushstrokes are desired. 

paint roller

Paint Rollers 

Rollers also come in different sizes and can be outfitted with different thickness of nap. Rollers range in size from small “hot dog-sized” rollers to much larger rollers meant for covering large expanses, including ceilings and large surface walls. Check out some of the amazing Benjamin Moore rollers that can be found in a huge assortment of sizes. 

As for the thickness of the nap on each roller, that is determined by the overall look you are going for as well as whether the walls are textured or not. A lower nap roller is good for smooth walls, while a roller with thicker nap is good for a textured ceiling to get the paint into all the grooves. 


Sprayers are excellent choices for when you are looking at a large project that you want to accomplish in a short amount of time. 

Our caveat regarding this application technique includes two warnings: 

  • Prepare the area completely before you begin spraying. That means cover everything with plastic that you do not want to paint. 
  • Only use a sprayer if you have some experience with one. These tools can get a bit tricky in knowing how much to spray and how long to leave the sprayer on in any given area. 

Need help deciding which tool is right for your paint project? Let our team come in to help transform your space with a professional paint job.